1959 in baseball
Major League Baseball
- College World Series: Oklahoma State
- Japan Series: Nankai Hawks over Yomiuri Giants (4–0)
- Little League World Series: Hamtramck National, Hamtramck, Michigan
- Pan American Games: Venezuela over Puerto Rico
Awards and honors
- Baseball Hall of Fame
- Most Valuable Player
- Cy Young Award
- Rookie of the Year
- Gold Glove Award
- Bobby Shantz (P) New York Yankees (AL)
- Sherm Lollar (C) Chicago White Sox (AL)
- Vic Power (1B) Cleveland Indians (AL)
- Nellie Fox (2B) Chicago White Sox (AL)
- Frank Malzone (3B) Boston Red Sox (AL)
- Luis Aparicio (SS) Chicago White Sox (AL)
- Minnie Miñoso (OF) Cleveland Indians (AL)
- Al Kaline (OF) Detroit Tigers (AL)
- Jackie Jensen (OF) Boston Red Sox (AL)
MLB statistical leaders
|American League||National League|
|AVG||Harvey Kuenn DET||.353||Hank Aaron MIL||.355|
|HR||Rocky Colavito CLE|
Harmon Killebrew WSH
|42||Eddie Mathews MIL||46|
|RBI||Jackie Jensen BOS||112||Ernie Banks CHC||143|
|Wins||Early Wynn CHW||22||Lew Burdette MIL|
Sam Jones SF
Warren Spahn MIL
|ERA||Hoyt Wilhelm BAL||2.19||Sam Jones SF||2.83|
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
National League final standings
- January 30 – The Cincinnati Reds trade catcher Smokey Burgess, pitcher Harvey Haddix, and third baseman Don Hoak to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for third baseman Frank Thomas, pitcher Whammy Douglas, outfielders Jim Pendleton and Johnny Powers, and cash considerations.
- February 7 – Nap Lajoie dies of pneumonia at the age of 84. Lajoie, who also managed the Cleveland Indians from 1905 to 1909, hit a .338 batting average over a 21-year career and gained election to the Hall of Fame in 1937.
- February 28 – Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees ends his holdout after one day. Mantle agrees to a salary of $72,000 and a bonus of $2,000. He had been asking the Yankees for $85,000 after batting .304 with 42 home runs and 97 RBI in 1958.
- April 11 – On Opening Day, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale hits a home run, becoming the only pitcher to hit more than one career homer in opening games. Drysdale's historic blast doesn't prevent the Dodgers from losing their game, 6–1, to the Chicago Cubs.
- April 17 – Detroit Tigers' Al Kaline bats his 100th career home run.
- April 22 – The Chicago White Sox defeat the Kansas City Athletics 20–6 at Municipal Stadium. The White Sox score 11 of those runs in a wild seventh inning in which they collect only one hit. Ray Boone and Al Smith lead off the inning by reaching on errors. Johnny Callison then collects the hit, a single that scores Boone; on the play, Smith scores and Callison reaches third on a Roger Maris error. Eight of the next nine runs score on ten bases on balls; Callison is hit by a pitch to force in the remaining run.
- May 12 – Yogi Berra of the New York Yankees commits an error, as his errorless streak of 148 games for a catcher comes to an end in a New York 7–6 loss to the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium.
- May 20 – The New York Yankees lose to the Detroit Tigers 13–6 at Yankee Stadium, the loss dropping the New Yorkers to last place in the American League—their first time in the cellar since May 23, 1940. The Yankees had won nine pennants over the previous ten years, as well as winning 103 games in 1954, the one year in that stretch when they didn't win the pennant (that year, they finished second to the Cleveland Indians, who won 111). The Yankees will battle back this year but finish in 3rd place, 15 games behind the pennant-winning White Sox.
- May 26 – Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Harvey Haddix carries a perfect game into the 13th inning against the Milwaukee Braves, retiring 36 consecutive batters before Félix Mantilla reached on a Don Hoak error. Haddix would lose the game on a Joe Adcock hit (a baserunning mistake caused it to be changed from a 3-run home run to a 1-run double) later in the inning.
- June 10 – Cleveland Indians right-fielder Rocky Colavito becomes the eighth player in Major League history to hit four home runs in a game. He hits all four home runs in consecutive at-bats, as the Indians top the Baltimore Orioles, 11–8.
- June 12 – The Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame opens in Tokyo.
- June 14 – Ernie Banks hits 200th career home run helping Chicago Cubs beat Milwaukee Braves 6-0.
- June 18 – At Memorial Stadium‚ Chico Carrasquel drives in two runs in both the eighth and ninth innings to give the Baltimore Orioles win, 7–6, over the visiting Detroit Tigers.
- June 21 – At Seals Stadium, Hank Aaron hits three home runs in the Milwaukee Braves' 13–3 victory over the San Francisco Giants. For Aaron, Major League Baseball's future home run king, it will be the only three-home run game of his career.
- June 30 – The St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs are involved in a bizarre play at Wrigley Field in which two balls are in play at the same time. With one out in the fourth inning, Stan Musial is at the plate with a 3–1 count. The next pitch from the Cubs’ Bob Anderson evades catcher Sammy Taylor and rolls to the backstop. Home plate umpire Vic Delmore calls ball four on Musial, much to the chagrin of Anderson and Taylor, both of whom argue that Musial had foul tipped the ball. With the ball still in play and Delmore arguing with both Anderson and Taylor, Musial attempts to run for second. Meanwhile, Cubs third baseman Alvin Dark runs to the backstop and retrieves the ball despite it having ended up in the hands of field announcer Pat Pieper. However, Delmore unknowingly pulls out a new ball and gives it to Taylor. Anderson sees Musial attempting to advance to second and throws the ball to second baseman Tony Taylor, only for it to sail into the outfield. At the same time, Dark throws the original ball to shortstop Ernie Banks. Musial sees Anderson's ball go over Tony Taylor's head and attempts to advance to third, unaware that Dark's throw has reached Banks, who tags Musial. After a delay, Musial is declared out. Both teams play the game under protest; the Cardinals drop theirs after defeating the Cubs 4–1.
- July 7 – In the season's first All-Star Game, held at Forbes Field, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the National League topped the American League 5–4.
- July 27 – New York attorney William Shea announces the formation of a third major league, the Continental League, to begin play in 1961. One of the charter teams for the league would be placed in New York. The Continental League will disband August 2, 1960 on promises that four of its franchises would be accepted to the National League and American League as expansion franchises.
- August 3 – At the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the second All-Star Game was staged. The American League beat the National League 5–3.
- September 22 – At Cleveland Stadium, the Chicago White Sox defeat the Cleveland Indians 4-2 to clinch the American League pennant. Back-to-back home runs from Al Smith and Jim Rivera in the 6th inning give eventual Cy Young Award winner Early Wynn his 21st victory. The pennant is the first for the White Sox since 1919; that team went on to throw the World Series in what would come to be known as the Black Sox Scandal.
- September 28–29 – The L.A. Dodgers and Milwaukee Braves finish the NL regular schedule in a tie and the Dodgers defeat the Braves in a best-of-three playoff series 3–2 and 6–5 (12) to reach the World Series.
- October 1 – The Go-Go Chicago White Sox change character at home and hammer the Los Angeles Dodgers 11–0 in the first game of the 1959 World Series, as Ted Kluszewski has 2 home runs and 5 runs batted in. Chicago's Early Wynn and Gerry Staley combine for the shutout. New York Yankees manager Casey Stengel, sitting out only his second World Series since 1949, covers the game as a reporter.
- October 8 – The Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the Chicago White Sox, 9–3, in Game 6 of the World Series to win their second World Championship, and first since moving to Los Angeles, four games to two. The Dodgers have an 8–0 lead after 4 innings and hold on despite Ted Kluszewski's 3-run home run. The round-tripper gives the slugger a new 6-game RBI record of 10. Chicago's Chuck Essegian hits his second pinch HR to establish a new record, later equalled by Bernie Carbo of the Boston Red Sox in 1975. This was the first pennant for the White Sox since the Black Sox scandal, 40 years earlier. It marked the first Championship for a West Coast team. It was the first ever World Series in which no pitcher for either team pitched a complete game. Dodgers P Larry Sherry was named MVP.
- October 21:
- The Players Association approves two All-Star Games in 1960, to be held at Kansas City Municipal Stadium and Yankee Stadium.
- Branch Rickey launched another effort to form a third major baseball circuit, the Continental League. Rickey says that the cities of Buffalo, Montreal, Atlanta and Dallas-Ft. Worth are still in the running for the remaining two franchises.
- November 12 – Nellie Fox of the Chicago White Sox wins the American League MVP Award with 295 points. Teammates Luis Aparicio (255) and Early Wynn (123) finish second and third respectively.
- November 21 – In the first inter-league trade, the NL Chicago Cubs send first baseman Jim Marshall and pitcher Dave Hillman to the AL Boston Red Sox in exchange for first baseman Dick Gernert.
- December 11 – The New York Yankees traded Hank Bauer, Don Larsen, Norm Siebern and Marv Throneberry to the Kansas City Athletics for Roger Maris, Joe DeMaestri and Kent Hadley.
- January 5 – Milt Thompson
- January 8 – Ramón Romero
- January 9 – Otis Nixon
- January 10 – Richard Dotson
- January 11 – Lloyd McClendon
- January 21 – Ricky Adams
- January 21 – José Uribe
- January 30 – La Schelle Tarver
- February 15 – Joe Hesketh
- February 19 – Keith Atherton
- February 19 – Tim Burke
- February 20 – Bill Gullickson
- February 25 – Ken Dayley
- March 4 – Mike Brown
- March 11 – Phil Bradley
- March 13 – Luis Aguayo
- March 15 – Harold Baines
- March 16 – Charles Hudson
- March 17 – Danny Ainge
- April 2 – Al Nipper
- April 18 – Rich Bordi
- April 18 – Jim Eisenreich
- April 18 – Dennis Rasmussen
- April 19 – R. J. Reynolds
- April 22 – Terry Francona
- April 25 – Tony Phillips
- May 12 – Kevin Bass
- May 16 – Bob Patterson
- May 16 – Mitch Webster
- May 19 – Bob Patterson
- May 26 – Dann Bilardello
- May 28 – Steve Jeltz
- June 8 – Britt Burns
- June 11 – Mike Davis
- June 11 – Brian Gorman
- June 25 – Alejandro Peña
- June 27 – Roy Johnson
- July 21 – Mark Williamson
- July 27 – Joe DeSa
- July 29 – Dave LaPoint
- July 30 – Ricky Horton
- July 31 – Mike Bielecki
- August 3 – Jim Gott
- August 3 – Mike Jeffcoat
- August 13 – Tom Niedenfuer
- August 14 – Don Carman
- August 14 – Dale Scott
- August 17 – Brad Wellman
- September 2 – Drungo Hazewood
- September 9 – Tom Foley
- September 13 – Tom Hughes
- September 16 – Tim Raines
- September 18 – Ryne Sandberg
- September 21 – Danny Cox
- September 22 – Wally Backman
- September 22 – Lee Graham
- September 25 – Geno Petralli
- September 26 – Rich Gedman
- September 28 – Todd Worrell
- October 6 – Oil Can Boyd
- October 6 – Greg Walker
- October 8 – Mike Morgan
- October 10 – Les Straker
- October 16 – Brian Harper
- October 16 – Kevin McReynolds
- October 21 – George Bell
- October 24 – Junior Ortiz
- October 29 – Jesse Barfield
- November 5 – Craig McMurtry
- November 5 – Lloyd Moseby
- November 6 – Leo Hernández
- November 23 – Brook Jacoby
- November 24 – Tom Dunbar
- November 26 – Mike Moore
- December 6 – Larry Sheets
- December 17 – Bryan Clutterbuck
- December 17 – Marvell Wynne
- January 21 – Hooks Wiltse, 79, pitcher for the New York Giants with two 20-win seasons and a 10-inning no-hitter
- January 22 – Ken Williams, 68, outfielder who in 1922 became the first player to have 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in the same season
- February 7 – Nap Lajoie, 84, Hall of Fame second baseman who batted .338 in his career, winning the 1901 American League Triple Crown with a .426 batting average and becoming the third player to make 3000 hits
- February 12 – Dode Paskert, 77, outfielder and leadoff hitter known for his speed and defense
- February 27 – Howie Fitzgerald, 56, outfielder for the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox in the 1920s
- March 17 – Howard Ehmke, 64, pitcher with six 15-win seasons whose last major league victory was a record 13-strikeout performance in the 1929 World Series
- March 29 – Johnny Allen, 53, All-Star pitcher named Major League Player of the Year by The Sporting News in 1937 after a 15–1 season
- May 18 – John Hummel, 76, longtime Brooklyn utility player
- May 18 – Gene Packard, 71, pitcher who enjoyed a pair of 20-win seasons in the short-lived Federal League
- May 26 – Ed Walsh, 78, Hall of Fame spitball pitcher for the Chicago White Sox who compiled the lowest career ERA in history (1.82) and won an astonishing 40 games in 1908
- June 9 – Frank Huelsman, 85, regarded as the first player in major league history to play for four different teams in a season (1904), who later gained notoriety as a minor league star, compiling a .342 career average over nearly 20 years, including five batting titles, six RBI titles, and two Triple Crowns
- June 13 - Irv Higginbotham, 77, pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs from 1906 to 1909
- June 17 – Jim McHale, 83, outfielder for the 1908 Boston Red Sox
- June 28 – Joe Sugden, 88, platooning catcher for five teams, later a Cardinals scout for 31 years
- July 7 – Norwood Gibson, 82, pitcher for the Boston Americans between 1903 and 1906
- July 11 – Frank Gilhooley, 77, outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox between 1911 and 1919
- July 21 – Bill Hoffer, 88, pitcher who won 20 games in each of his first three seasons
- July 25 – Buck O'Brien, 77, pitcher who won 20 games for the Boston Red Sox 1912 World Champions
- July 25 – Jim Boyer, 50, American League umpire from 1944 to 1950
- July 26 – Otto Miller, 58, third baseman for the St. Louis Browns and Boston Red Sox between 1927 and 1932
- July 29 – Boileryard Clarke, 90, backup catcher for the 1890s Baltimore Orioles, later a coach at Princeton for 34 years
- August 4 – Chappy Charles, 78, infielder for the Browns and Reds from 1908–1910
- August 4 – Pop Williams, 85, pitcher for 4 NL teams from 1898–1903
- September 20 – Tilly Walker, 72, power-hitting outfielder known for his strong arm
- September 28 – Red Corriden, 72, longtime MLB coach and manager of the 1950 Chicago White Sox
- October 16 – Herb Bradley, 56, pitched for the Boston Red Sox from 1927 through 1929
- October 29 – Dave Fultz, 84, outfielder who became a lawyer and unionized players in the 1910s, later coaching baseball and football at six universities
- November 4 – Claude "Lefty" Williams, 66, one of the eight White Sox players suspended for life in the Black Sox scandal
- November 20 – Roy Thomas, 85, Phillies outfielder and leadoff hitter who batted .300 five times
- November 28 – Ed McFarland, 85, catcher for five teams, known for his fielding
- November 30 – Jack Scott, 67, pitcher who threw a shutout in the 1922 World Series for the Giants and won 16 games the next year
- December 6 – Wid Conroy, 82, infielder for four teams, including the 1902 NL champion Pirates
- December 10 – Joe Harris, 68, first baseman and outfielder who batted .300 in his first eight seasons
- December 11 – Jim Bottomley, 59, power-hitting first baseman for four Cardinal pennant-winners and career .310 hitter who was named the NL's MVP in 1928 and set a record with 12 RBI in a 1924 game
- December 16 - Lee Dashner, 72, pitcher for the 1903 Cleveland Naps